Tagged: John Player Special

1974 John Player Norton

We have highlighted a John Player Norton here on CSBFS and given a little bit of history on our previous post. This JPN offered today on eBay looks to be in great condition from the cramped pictures offered. Get that guy in the back to help you move the Corvette and take the bike outside for some good pictures.

From the seller

1974 Norton John Player . This is a one owner bike purchased in California from a Norton dealer in 1975. Completely original, … Documented original mileage of 4455 miles. Never laid down ,motor never opened up…starts right up. everything works, electrical, hydraulics etc. This is a no -stories bike. Pair of NOS-chrome mufflers still in their boxes come with the bike. Original calif. pink-slip,…mint condition. This bike is very much one of a kind,..a great collector opportunity.

When the JPN came out, Endurance racing was all the rage in Europe, and the full fairing and dual headlights were a tribute to the success that Norton was having. But once again America was behind the trends and the John Player Norton’s that did end up on these shores often sat unsold. Once again, what was once unwanted has become wanted.

To tell you the truth, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am heading to Bonneville Speed Week in about 24 hours, and I was looking for a motorcycle that I could pick up to go racing. And with the full fairing, claimed 60hp at 6200rpm I am thinking that I could roll this off the trailer and go fast. Wish me luck. BB

1975 John Player Norton

Why be so short with such a great bike? I know those that are looking for a John Player Norton know what it is, but what about all those people that just want to kick the tyres?

John Player was a cigarette manufacture in England who sponsored almost every kind of sport, including Norton for Endurance racing. Designer Mick Olfields arrival at Norton coincided with their success in racing and his first project was to bring the celebrated endurance racer to the street.The John Player sponsored motorcycle was very different, being one of the first to use Monocoque design, but used the reliable parallel twin. The John Player for the street numbers claimed 50hp @ 5,900 rpm. Top speed was estimated at 115mph all for a price of $2,999 when new. 

Underneath, the street bike is based on the Norton Commander of the 1970’s. The body work was a copy of  the dual headlight and full fairing necessary when racing for long hours at high speed through the night. Because fiberglass was illegal for tanks, the molded body work includes a tank over the steel gas tank underneath. There were reported only 200 made, you will see more replicas then survivors, so it is important to know the key differences if you are going to spend this kind of money. This may help.

The bike offered here is in Houston is strait and to the point.

From the seller and only two pictures

1975 John Player Norton
New Rebuild
SS Spokes
New chrome rims
Boyer Ignition
Fresh paint

$15000 or best offer

Luckily I spend a lot of time on the Internet and may have found a sort of “build thread” for this bike. It even tells one of the secrets to disquise the really thing from replicas. I cannot be sure, but the “after” picture by the builder is the same one posted by the seller, bother builder and seller are in Texas. Draw your own conclusions.

BB